May 25, 2013
England qualify with draw, Rooney sent off
England completed their Group G campaign undefeated with a 2-2 draw in Montenegro to qualify for Euro 2012 although a needless red card for Wayne Rooney and a last-minute equaliser for the hosts soured their mood on Friday.
Needing only a point to guarantee top spot in the group, goals by Ashley Young and Darren Bent had Fabio Capello's side in cruise control after 31 minutes on a rainy night in the Balkans before things became unexpectedly more complicated.
First Elsad Zverotic volleyed a reply with the final kick of the first half and in a frantic finale substitute Andrija Delibasic headed a dramatic equaliser to guarantee Montenegro second place and a playoff spot in the fledgling nation's first tournament campaign.
Rooney, who had been involved in both England goals, received a straight red card for a petulant kick on Miodrag Dzudovic with a little under 20 minutes remaining and will miss the start of next year's finals in Poland and Ukraine.
The Manchester United striker, who suffered the second red card of his England career, could even face a three-match ban which would have serious implications for England's chances of success next year.
England ended with 18 points ahead of Montenegro on 12. Switzerland, who host Montenegro on Tuesday, can no longer secure a playoff place after defeat in Wales.
"We are a little bit disappointed because we were 2-0 up and ended up drawing the game," captain John Terry told Sky Sports. "But it's a great feeling to get where we've got and we're top of the group.
"We were really in control and the manager said at halftime it was probably too easy for us. Wayne had a bit of a tussle, it was one of those things. Fortunately it did not cost us."